Following a successful launch weekend in mid-May, the RGYC Youth Squad hit the water in the RS21’s on Sunday, with the focus shifting towards Match Racing. With a diverse group of young sailors, all under the age of 23, the squad’s focus is currently on developing their teamwork, communication, and roles and responsibilities within a larger team.  

Through a series of outcome-focused games on-water, the squad was introduced to the fundamentals of the start box, entries and the rules within a match-racing arena.

The RGYC Youth Squad was a key program identified when the club was developing the need to acquire a fleet of one-design keelboats. As has been proven over the past 30-years at clubs like the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, these youth focused programs provide sailors with a stepping-stone into keelboats, a targeted discipline in which they can move to after junior classes, and a high-performance pathway to match, teams and fleet racing if they choose. 

 “This program has really filled a void in the club pathways and reception from the participants has been positive and buoyant. I have no doubt it will continue to develop and become to integral part of the RGYC environment, a great initiative” Tony Bull, Coach.  

“It is amazing to see such a diverse group of young people sailing together,” commented RGYC Sailing Manager Drew Malcolm. “Today we had crew combinations with ages ranging from 13 to 22, sailors from four different junior classes, coming together as a team to achieve outcomes that are only possible with solid teamwork, communication and trust.” 

The opportunity for these Youth Sailors would not be possible without the generous support of many members who have championed these programs over the past twelve months. “Arguably the biggest challenge for this program is the time spent craning the boats in and out, and it simply wouldn’t be possible without the unwavering support of club members.” Ongoing support of Members is integral to the success of this program and we we urge anyone considering volunteering their time and expertise to give it a go!

The next Youth Squad session is a match-racing fundamentals theory session, which is being generously provided by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Youth Sailing Academy. Established in 1993, the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy is well regarded both nationally and internationally as one of the world’s leading full time sailing academies. With over 500 sailors to date graduating from the Academy, many have gone on to compete in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Olympic Games, America’s Cup, World Match Racing Tour and The Ocean Race. 

Further Youth Squads are scheduled for the Spring, Summer and Autumn school holidays, with a winter-long high-performance squad slated for winter 2025.

To express your interest in participating the upcoming Youth Squad courses please [email protected]

Link to photos: 2024 RGYC Winter Youth Squad – Pilot Program